We started shipping Flex 3 today. Wow! This has been quite a release and, although you’re probably reading this on all the Adobe blogs, we think it’s pretty special. I know that we’ve made a number of improvements to the docs, and am going to ask the writers to create their own posts to enumerate their personal favorites. For my part, I’ll call out two:
- The Flex 3 Getting Started Experience – With Flex 2 and 2.0.1, we had a lot of negative feedback from Flex newbies.My manager, in her infinite wisdom, gave us a lot of support in hiring Inquirium (an instructional design firm) to interview Flex developers, figure out their common patterns/problems, and create a new getting started roadmap. Some hurdles we knew about (understanding that Flex access data indirectly through a server), but others were a surprise (a lot of people got caught up with asynchronous events). We then hired Trilemetry (big thanks to Emily, Annette, and Bob) to “realize” the Getting Started Experience. This turned out to be bigger than we thought, but I think it works really well, and the Beta feedback has been extremely positive.
- Revised table of contents (TOC) architecture for Flex Builder online Help and LiveDocs – In our work with Inquirium, it became clear that viewers weren’t thinking about “books” in the online doc experience. The revised TOC feels more navigable and I think it makes it easier to find stuff. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Note that we only did this for the core Flex books, so Flex Builder, Data Visualization, AIR, and ActionScript are still presented as books. Also note that material is still available as books through the Flex Help Resource Center.
OK. I lied. Two more things:
- Obviously, I’m focusing on Flex, but AIR went live today, too, and this is a significant milestone for Adobe. For Flex developers, it’s pretty simple: Any app you write for the browser should just run in the AIR runtime (and the Flex 3 LiveDocs include Developing AIR Applications with Flex). You can also take advantage of the extended functionality inherent in a desktop application and I recommend scanning the discussions of windows, menus, taskbars, files, data, HTML content and Rich media content. In particular, I think the drag & drop and local SQL database discussions are cool.
- Please use the public bugbase to report problems with the Flex 3 documentation. You can also search the bugbase to see if anyone else has already reported an issue.
Thanks everybody for your feedback during the Flex 3 Beta cycle. You made a difference.
On to Flex 4!